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After the Mastectomy - DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 193

Any surgical procedure by nature is taxing on the human body. A mastectomy can also be psychologically damaging, though, as it can leave noticeable damage to the chest when performed to remove cancer. Restorative plastic surgery after a mastectomy has been shown to bring women a higher quality of life and better mental outlook. Recent developments in surgical procedures have made these benefits even stronger. DIEP flap breast reconstruction is a newer procedure that allows women to regain the structure in their upper body while reducing effects on the rest of the body.

While implants are very common in restorative and constructive surgery, DIEP flap breast reconstruction is quickly becoming an advantageous alternative to silicone implants. Instead of introducing a foreign substance into the body, a plastic surgeon can transplant living tissue from another part of the body to reform the damage mammary. Since the tissue comes from the patient's own body, the blood vessels can be reintegrated in a new location. Of course, this new bosom cannot produce milk like the original, but it will look and feel more natural than an implant.

Surgeons have been performing restoration by transplanting tissue for many years now, but this particular method is only possible through the most recent technology. In surgeries that replace the cavity from a mastectomy, the transplanted tissue usually comes from the abdomen. In older methods of transplanting, a section of skin, fat, blood vessels, and muscles are removed from the lower torso and reshaped into the affected area. For DIEP flap breast reconstruction only the skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed, leaving the muscle intact. The surgery itself is more complex and requires more advanced facilities than older procedures, but it is less invasive and requires less recovery time. The surgeon must carefully dissect the tiny blood vessels connecting the skin and fat to the muscle and reconnect these to the new area. This leaves less damage to the abdominal muscles and provides better patient reactions in the months and years to come.

Restorative procedures are usually performed directly after a mastectomy. The main tissue transfer is best done right after the cancerous tissue has been removed, but in most cases smaller followup procedures are done to touch up the area. A replacement nipple and areola must be created to finish the process, and this is usually done a few months after the main surgery. Usually the patient takes a few months to recover, but with this procedure the recovery is faster because the abdominal muscles are less damaged.

Of all the options for a woman after a mastectomy, DIEP flap breast reconstruction offers an unique way to restore the body to its natural functioning state. The surgery avoids implanting unnatural substances in the body by reusing unnecessary tissues in the abdomen. In fact, it can actually remove unwanted fat from the abdomen, much like a tummy tuck procedure. Patients who have undergone this surgery are shown to be satisfied and regain their confidence after what can be a trying time in their lives.

A diep flap breast reconstruction can brighten your outlook after a mastectomy. Find out more about the benefits of this procedure at

Source: EzineArticles
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